Christine Lelond Your Home Expert

(306) 230-5220


When you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best to buyers. Unfortunately, buyers are likely to notice any cracks or stains on your floor.


Luckily, there are many do-it-yourself solutions to help make your floors look significantly better.


Let’s start with stains.


If you have carpeting, there are a number of spot cleaning products on the market. But before you try one of those, consider this simple remedy. Sprinkle a little baking soda on the stain and then add just enough drops of white vinegar to make it bubble. Wait two minutes. Then, dab carefully with a paper towel and vacuum the residual. This method often works.


For hard floors, gentle rubbing with warm water will take care of most stains. If you have hardwood floors, don’t let the area remain wet. Dry it completely.


Ceramic tile floors often have old, discoloured grout that is an eyesore. Of course, there are products available to clean grout. But try using an old toothbrush and water before investing in those products. Scrub the grout gently. Then mop the entire area.


If you have minor damage to a section of hardwood floor or floor tiles — for example, a chip or crack — the best solution is replacement. Unfortunately, this isn’t a DIY-friendly job, so unless you’ve done it successfully before, consider hiring a contractor.


If the crack is minor and you don’t want to replace the piece, there are sealing products available, which will camouflage the crack — to some extent — and prevent it from getting worse.


If you have a flooring crack or stain you’re concerned about, try these tips. Also, check out your local home improvement centre for more ideas.

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In the business world, a phrase that’s often used is ROI or Return On Investment. It refers to the regular gain (or loss) you’re getting from a particular asset relative to its cost.


When it comes to your home, the gain may be more than financial. It may include the benefit of the lifestyle it gives you. For example, a spacious backyard deck pays off in countless pleasant Saturdays with friends and family. A home’s location near convenient commuting routes means less stress getting to and from work.


Lifestyle factors are important, not only when considering where you’re living now, but also when considering where you think you’d like to live in the future.


That’s why it’s a good idea to do a Lifestyle Assessment regularly. The exercise is simple. Make a list of all the lifestyle characteristics you want in a home, as well as a neighbourhood. Think about how much room you need, the kind of neighbourhood you want to live in, your hobbies and interests, what’s important to have nearby (such as schools), and so forth.


The next step is to prioritize. Move items on your list around so that the most important lifestyle factors are at the top.


Finally, review the list and check off those lifestyle factors your home is currently providing.


If you’re able to check off most (ideally, all) of the items at the top of your list, you’re in pretty good shape. Your current home is probably giving you the lifestyle you want.


But if some important lifestyle factors are unchecked, it might be worth considering whether buying a new home will give you a better “Lifestyle ROI”.


If, after doing this exercise, you’re curious about how to get into your ideal home, call me.

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The Saskatchewan real estate market continues to be quite strong, outperforming the market last year. Across the province, year-over-year sales were up almost 52% from last September (and up over 18.5% year-to-date), new listings were up 10% year-over-year (but down just over 7% year-to-date), and the median sale price was up over 2% (up 0.4% year-to-date). Inventories were also down in 18 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks.

Although the province continued to see a small uptick in COVID cases in September, this hasn’t deterred people from buying and selling real estate. “While it’s been suggested that the market would suffer due to COVID,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim, “this really hasn’t happened in Saskatchewan.” Despite a smaller number of new and active listings year-to-date, other numbers are generally better compared with last year. “The fact that sales and prices are up while inventories are down suggests the market has more than recovered and is doing better than last year—despite the pandemic,” said Yochim.

Median sales prices were up in 12 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks (with Melfort and Weyburn seeing the strongest declines while Swift Current and Yorkton saw the greatest increases), while the number of sales were up (or flat) in 17 of 19 markets.

We’ve seen relatively strong performance throughout the summer this year, and this strength has carried over into September. With provincial and civic elections looming this month and a general sense of activity, October could also see another strong performance despite the market beginning to cool.

“Even though we expect activity to fall off compared with the highs of summer,” said Yochim, “people still seem motivated and interested in real estate.” The safety precautions that the SRA put in place back in April to help reassure the public that real estate is safe has certainly helped to channel pent-up demand and allowed the province to reduce the economic impact of COVID.

Sales in Saskatoon were up 41.0%, going from 305 in September 2019 to 430 in September 2020, and up 54.4% in the overall region, going from 423 to 653. In Saskatoon, sales were 28.4% above the 5-year average (and 23.7% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 41.7% above the 5-year average (and 34.2% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon rose 12.3% over last year, increasing from 2,862 to 3,215, while YTD sales in the larger region rose 17.9%, going from 3,847 to 4,535.

Sales volume was up 43.0% in the city, going from $107.7M to $154.0M in 2020 (39.3% above the 5-year average, and 31.3% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $1,110.4M, an increase of 16.6% from last year. In the region, sales volume was up 22.8%, going from $1,213.9M to $1,490.6M (47.8% above the 5-year average and 42.0% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume increased 22.8% in the region, rising from $1,213.9M in 2019 to $1,490.6M in 2020.

In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in September 2020 rose 13.4%, going from 717 to 813 (3.4% above the 5-year average and 4.0% above the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings rose 6.7% from 1,000 last year to 1,067 this year (3.6% below the 5-year average and 1.3% above the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 4.2%, going from 6,393 to 6,123, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 6.5%, going from 9,388 to 8,777. Active listings fell 18.0% in Saskatoon (down from 1,906 to 1,563) and fell 22.1% in the region (down from 3,452 to 2,690).

Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 3.6 months (which is 41.8% below the level last year and 38.8% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 52.9%, suggesting balanced market conditions. Inventory in the larger region stood at 4.1 months (which is 49.5% below the level last year and 46.2% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 61.2%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers.

Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 40 days in September—down 27.3% from 55 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 52 days and below the 10-year average of 46 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 51 days on average in 2020, but also down from an average of 66 days last year (and 16.7% below the 5-year average).

Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $329,900 to $345,000 (an increase of 4.6%) and were approximately 4.6% above the 5-year and 6.0% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 1.0% from $319,400 to $322,700. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $331,183 which is 3.1% above the $321,167 price from the same time last year. Median home prices in the region went from $310,000 to $330,000 (an increase of 6.5%) and were approximately 6.5% above the 5-year and 7.0% above the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $313,614 which is 4.0% above the $301,511 price from the same time last year.  

~September 2020 SRA News Release

Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.

 The Saskatchewan real estate market continues to be quite strong, outperforming the market last year. Across the province, year-over-year sales were up almost 52% from last September (and up over 18.5% year-to-date), new listings were up 10% year-over-year (but down just over 7% year-to-date), and the median sale price was up over 2% (up 0.4% year-to-date). Inventories were also down in 18 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks.

Although the province continued to see a small uptick in COVID cases in September, this hasn’t deterred people from buying and selling real estate. “While it’s been suggested that the market would suffer due to COVID,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim, “this really hasn’t happened in Saskatchewan.” Despite a smaller number of new and active listings year-to-date, other numbers are generally better compared with last year. “The fact that sales and prices are up while inventories are down suggests the market has more than recovered and is doing better than last year—despite the pandemic,” said Yochim.

Median sales prices were up in 12 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks (with Melfort and Weyburn seeing the strongest declines while Swift Current and Yorkton saw the greatest increases), while the number of sales were up (or flat) in 17 of 19 markets.

We’ve seen relatively strong performance throughout the summer this year, and this strength has carried over into September. With provincial and civic elections looming this month and a general sense of activity, October could also see another strong performance despite the market beginning to cool.

“Even though we expect activity to fall off compared with the highs of summer,” said Yochim, “people still seem motivated and interested in real estate.” The safety precautions that the SRA put in place back in April to help reassure the public that real estate is safe has certainly helped to channel pent-up demand and allowed the province to reduce the economic impact of COVID.

Saskatoon

Sales in Saskatoon were up 41.0%, going from 305 in September 2019 to 430 in September 2020, and up 54.4% in the overall region, going from 423 to 653. In Saskatoon, sales were 28.4% above the 5-year average (and 23.7% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 41.7% above the 5-year average (and 34.2% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon rose 12.3% over last year, increasing from 2,862 to 3,215, while YTD sales in the larger region rose 17.9%, going from 3,847 to 4,535.

Sales volume was up 43.0% in the city, going from $107.7M to $154.0M in 2020 (39.3% above the 5-year average, and 31.3% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $1,110.4M, an increase of 16.6% from last year. In the region, sales volume was up 22.8%, going from $1,213.9M to $1,490.6M (47.8% above the 5-year average and 42.0% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume increased 22.8% in the region, rising from $1,213.9M in 2019 to $1,490.6M in 2020.

In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in September 2020 rose 13.4%, going from 717 to 813 (3.4% above the 5-year average and 4.0% above the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings rose 6.7% from 1,000 last year to 1,067 this year (3.6% below the 5-year average and 1.3% above the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 4.2%, going from 6,393 to 6,123, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 6.5%, going from 9,388 to 8,777. Active listings fell 18.0% in Saskatoon (down from 1,906 to 1,563) and fell 22.1% in the region (down from 3,452 to 2,690).

Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 3.6 months (which is 41.8% below the level last year and 38.8% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 52.9%, suggesting balanced market conditions. Inventory in the larger region stood at 4.1 months (which is 49.5% below the level last year and 46.2% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 61.2%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers.

Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 40 days in September—down 27.3% from 55 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 52 days and below the 10-year average of 46 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 51 days on average in 2020, but also down from an average of 66 days last year (and 16.7% below the 5-year average).

Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $329,900 to $345,000 (an increase of 4.6%) and were approximately 4.6% above the 5-year and 6.0% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 1.0% from $319,400 to $322,700. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $331,183 which is 3.1% above the $321,167 price from the same time last year. Median home prices in the region went from $310,000 to $330,000 (an increase of 6.5%) and were approximately 6.5% above the 5-year and 7.0% above the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $313,614 which is 4.0% above the $301,511 price from the same time last year.

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When you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best. You want buyers who view it to say, “Wow, I love this place!” However, what if you have a stubborn stain in the carpet, or a cracked floor tile? An unsightly issue like that can be distracting in your otherwise beautiful property.


You have a few options.


First, try to get the issue fixed. There are specialty cleaners on the market designed to lift even the most stubborn carpet stains.


The same goes for hardwood and tile. A flooring contractor might be able to find a matching piece and then replace the damaged section. Contractors also know other tricks-of-the-trade to repair damaged flooring or, at least, minimize the damage. For example, there are fillers and stains available that can make a crack or chip in a hardwood plank look almost invisible.


Home staging can also make damaged flooring less of a focal point in the room. An effective arrangement of furniture, area rugs, and other items puts more of the focus on the overall decor and less on that carpet stain.


In addition, making other more affordable improvements, such as painting, can have a compensatory effect. A buyer may notice the chipped hardwood, but will also notice the walls, which look like new.

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Although the August real estate market appears to be slowing down compared with June and July, we still see signs of strength. Across the province, year-over-year sales were up over 46% from August of last year (and up over 14% year-to-date), new listings were up nearly 5% year-over-year (but down just over 9% year-to-date), and the median sale price was up over 7% (up 0.2% year-to-date). Inventories were also down in 18 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks. This suggests that people are still quite eager to buy and are continuing to find value in real estate.


“While there have been some COVID outbreaks across the province, the number of cases has been pretty small” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim, “and this doesn’t seem to have turned people off from buying and selling real estate.” The fact that we had two months of slow activity and that “we’ve almost made up all of that lost ground is simply amazing,” said Yochim.


Median sales prices were up in 14 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks (with Yorkton and the broader region seeing the strongest declines), while the number of sales in all markets jumped anywhere from just under 4% to close to 226% (except for in Melfort, which saw sales fall 10%). Again, this strong performance suggests that the sector has recovered from the devastation of the pandemic and that real estate is quite resilient.


June’s and July’s strong performance suggested that August would also be a strong month. As children start returning to school in September and the weather starts to get colder, however, we expect activity to slow down and fall off into Q4.


“August tends to be when things start to slow down a little,” said Yochim, “but we’re still hearing reports of multiple offers and of houses being sold almost as soon as they’re listed.”

Although things are starting to “slow down” compared with earlier in the year, the market is in line with historical trends—and we still see generally strong performance.

 

Sales in Saskatoon were up 41.8%, going from 325 in August 2019 to 461 in August 2020, and up 47.7% in the overall region, going from 449 to 663. In Saskatoon, sales were 26.8% above the 5-year average (and 25.1% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 29.8% above the 5-year average (and 27.3% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon rose 8.9% over last year, increasing from 2,557 to 2,785, while YTD sales in the larger region rose 13.4%, going from 3,424 to 3,882.


Sales volume was up 55.5% in the city, going from $105.0M to $163.3M in 2020 (31.4% above the 5-year average, and 28.3% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $957.2M, an increase of 13.3% from last year. In the region, sales volume was up 18.0%, going from $1,076.9M to $1,271.2M (35.9% above the 5-year average and 35.5% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume increased 18.0% in the region, rising from $1,076.9M in 2019 to $1,271.2M in 2020.


In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in August 2020 rose 7.7%, going from 724 to 780 (0.3% above the 5-year average and 4.0% above the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings rose 6.9% from 1,029 last year to 1,100 this year (2.6% below the 5-year average and 0.5% above the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 6.4%, going from 5,676 to 5,310, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 8.1%, going from 8,388 to 7,709. Active listings fell 19.5% in Saskatoon (down from 1,911 to 1,538) and fell 20.3% in the region (down from 3,473 to 2,768).


Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 3.3 months (which is 43.3% below the level last year and 39.9% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 59.1%, suggesting balanced market conditions. Inventory in the larger region stood at 4.2 months (which is 46.0% below the level last year and 40.5% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 60.3%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers.


Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 42 days in August—down 25.0% from 56 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 51 days and below the 10-year average of 46 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 50 days on average in 2020, but also down from an average of 68 days last year (and 16.1% below the 5-year average).


Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $309,000 to $336,000 (an increase of 8.7%) and were approximately 3.3% above the 5-year and 2.7% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 1.4% from $314,900 to $319,400. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $329,456 which is 2.9% above the $320,075 price from the same time last year.


Median home prices in the region went from $293,000 to $327,900 (an increase of 11.9%) and were approximately 5.7% above the 5-year and 6.3% above the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $311,803 which is 3.8% above the $300,450 price from the same time last year.


~September 2020 SRA News Release


Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.

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How do you find the home of your dreams within a price range you can afford?


Most buyers start by making a “wish list”. But, it’s easy to get frustrated when you have a long wish list and expect you’ll be able to find a home with every one of those features. You might, for example, have “mature backyard tree” as number 23 on your list, and become disappointed when an otherwise ideal property doesn’t have one.


But when you really think about it, your ideal home probably comes down to just three or four core characteristics. For example:


1. Nice, safe, family-oriented neighbourhood.  


2. Good-sized backyard.


3. Four bedrooms and two baths.


Sure, there might be other features you were hoping for, such as “move in ready”, or that big tree, but your “big three” are the ones you really can’t do without.


So, when you’re shopping for a new home, yes, definitely make a long list of features and characteristics you desire. After all, there might be properties available on the market that check off most, if not all, of those boxes.


But also circle those three or four characteristics that are at the core of what you want. That will help make your property search much more focused and you’ll be more likely to find your next dream home.


Another advantage of coming up with your big three (or four) is that you’ll be able to quickly discover how much homes with those characteristics are selling for on today’s market. Once you know that price range, you’ll be able to talk with a mortgage advisor to pre-arrange financing. That will make your offer on that dream home even stronger.


Whatever you choose for your “big three”, I can help you find and buy that home. Call me.

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If you want to reduce your home energy costs, the easiest way is to turn the thermostat up or down. In fact, you probably won't notice a difference of 2 degrees either way — and the savings can be substantial.


However, if you want to lower your bill even further each month, here are some additional tips that are relatively easy to implement.


• Plug or fix the drafts. Even in newer homes, air filtration can occur at windows and doors. So, check around your home for drafts. Windy or cold days are the best days to check. Then, get any drafts you find repaired or, at least, temporarily plugged.


• Check the attic. Heat rises and can escape through the attic. So, once a year, check the attic insulation for thin or bare spots. The insulation should be even across the space.


• Get smart with your thermostat. Most thermostats these days are programmable. Program yours to reduce the heat at night and when you're away in the winter. In the summer, be easy on the A/C during the day and save the cooling for nighttime.


• Unused rooms? Close the vents to reduce heat or A/C. You might be surprised by how much that will lower your energy bill. (Think about rooms, such as a rec room, that you only use on weekends.)


• Harness the sun. It's free energy! Whenever possible, keep curtains open during cooler seasons to take advantage of this heat source, even on cloudy days. Do the opposite during hot summer days.


Try some of these ideas over the next couple of months. Then, look at the impact they’ve had on your energy costs.

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Building off the strong performance seen in June, the real estate sector continues to show signs of resilience. Across the province, year-over-year sales were up over 56% from July of last year (and up over 9% year-to-date), new listings were up over 9% year-over-year (but down 11% year-to-date), and the median sale price was up 2.7% (down 0.9% year-to-date). Inventories were also down in all markets that the SRA tracks, suggesting that people are still eager to buy and take advantage of the opportunities that exist.


While there has been an uptick in the number of COVID cases across the province, the precautions put in place earlier this year seem to have reduced people’s anxiety about home buying. “When the pandemic hit, we put measures in place to make sure that our members and their clients would be safe while buying homes,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim. “And we’re seeing how effective those measures have been. People feel safe and they’re buying,” suggesting that while COVID is still a concern, people and the economy are adapting.

Although prices are down in some markets (reflecting the local nature of real estate), the number of sales were up in all markets that the SRA tracks, and the number of new listings were up in all but one. Again, this suggests that the sector is doing quite well despite the impact the pandemic has had on the province, and that the sector has recovered in two to three months.


The strong performance seen in June and July (supported by increasing confidence in the real estate sector) is promising for August as well. “Members are still receiving multiple offers and some properties continue to be sold almost as soon as they’re listed,” says Yochim, suggesting that there is still pent-up demand. As a result, would-be sellers may be encouraged to list and help ease the declining inventory burden. And with children scheduled to return to school in September, August could see another strong push before life gets back to “normal” and Saskatchewan real estate activity begins its cyclical slow down.


Sales in Saskatoon were up 41.0%, going from 390 in July 2019 to 550 in July 2020, and up 54.5% in the overall region, going from 495 to 765. In Saskatoon, sales were 36.7% above the 5-year average (and 33.1% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 37.9% above the 5-year average (and 33.2% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon rose 4.1% over last year, increasing from 2,232 to 2,324, while YTD sales in the larger region rose 8.2%, going from 2,975 to 3,219.


Sales volume was up 49.0% in the city, going from $129.4M to $192.8M in 2020 (38.0% above the 5-year average, and 33.4% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $793.9M, an increase of 7.3% from last year. In the region, sales volume was up 11.4%, going from $938.7M to $1,045.3M (42.9% above the 5-year average and 38.8% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume increased 11.4% in the region, rising from $938.7M in 2019 to $1,045.3M in 2020.


In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in July 2020 rose 9.1%, going from 748 to 816 (6.0% above the 5-year average and 3.7% above the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings rose 9.7% from 1,097 last year to 1,203 this year (5.7% below the 5-year average and 5.1% above the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 8.5%, going from 4,952 to 4,530, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 10.2%, going from 7,359 to 6,609. Active listings fell 20.3% in Saskatoon (down from 1,950 to 1,555) and fell 20.9% in the region (down from 3,575 to 2,827).


Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 3 (which is 43.5% below the level last year and 45.5% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 67.4%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers. Inventory in the larger region stood at 4 (which is 48.8% below the level last year and 43.8% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 63.6%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers.


Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 43 days in July—down 17.3% from 52 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 48 days and above the 10-year average of 43 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 55 days on average in 2020, but also down from an average of 64 days last year (and 3.8% below the 5-year average).


Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $316,000 to $338,500 (an increase of 7.1%) and were approximately 3.0% above the 5-year and 3.2% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 1.8% from $309,400 to $314,900. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $328,521 which is 2.1% above the $321,657 price from the same time last year.


Median home prices in the region went from $300,000 to $320,000 (an increase of 6.7%) and were approximately 2.3% above the 5-year and 2.5% above the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $309,504 which is 2.6% above the $301,514 price from the same time last year.  ~ August 2020 SRA News Release


Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.

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There are many reasons why you might suddenly need to sell your home. It could be an unexpected work relocation, a change in family circumstances, or simply a desire to move.


Whatever the reason, selling quickly requires some fast action on your part. But that doesn't mean you need to get into panic mode. You can list and sell your property, quickly while still enjoying the process!


The first thing you need to do is figure out how to make your home show its best. In addition to cleaning and decluttering, that might include getting any needed repairs done, sprucing up the place by painting and perhaps even doing some minor improvements.


How much you need to "stage" your property depends on many factors, including what conditions are like in the local real estate market. For example, you may not need to make each room look like a page from a decorating magazine if you’re in a seller’s market.


So, before you start any work, talk to me about what needs to be done to make your home ready to be seen by buyers.


The next thing you’ll need to consider is the list price. Your list price is especially important if you want to sell soon. No, you don't need to low-ball your listing to attract interested buyers — in fact, doing that might actually have the opposite effect. But you do need to price your property competitively.


In addition, it's smart to line up the resources you'll need, especially if you're also buying a new home. For example: get recommendations for a real estate lawyer, contractor, mortgage advisor, cleaning service, pet daycare, etc.


I’m well-connected in the local home industry, so I can recommend you to reputable professionals I know and trust.


A final tip: If you want to sell quickly, you need to start the process now. Give me a call to get the ball rolling.

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Chances are, you know that you should change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year — even if you suspect the batteries are still good.


But that isn't the only fire safety check you should do annually. Here are some other recommended tips to help keep you and your family safe.


• Clean your stove burners and oven regularly. Hard grease build-up can become combustible.


• Check your cupboard for cleaning products, paints and other liquids that are flammable. Read each label carefully. Use and store each product only as recommended.


• If you keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen — and you should — confirm that it is still good. Extinguishers are like food. They have expiry dates!


• Go over your fire escape plan with your family. Make sure everyone knows exactly what to do if a smoke detector goes off or if there's a fire. (Don't have a fire escape plan? Make one!)


• Check that all windows open easily, especially upper floor windows.


• Check appliances you use often, such as hair dryers, for worn or frayed cords.


• Regularly clear away lint build-up in the clothes dryer. Check the outside dryer vent annually to make sure it's clear and working correctly.


• If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, get it cleaned and inspected by a licensed technician once a year.


Many local fire departments offer homeowners free tips and even in-home advice and inspections at no cost. Contact your fire department and ask about programs available to you.

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Why is making a big change in life often so difficult?


According to psychologists, maintaining the "status quo" is one of the most powerful motivations we have. If things are "okay", even making a change for the better can be difficult. Our brains resist.


You may have experienced this if you’ve thought about selling your current property and finding your next dream home. Your house may be "good enough" for you now and the neighbourhood might be "okay" too. So, even if your dream is to get into a better home that's more suited to your family and lifestyle, you may be hesitant.


That's just the way the psychology works.


One way to get around this psychology is to get your dream out of your head and on to paper. Write down the kind of home you'd love to live in next. For example, you may want a detached home, with 3-bedrooms in a family-oriented neighbourhood. Also jot down the specific features and characteristics of the property and neighbourhood such as a goodsized backyard, family-size kitchen, and an easy commute to work. That will help you see the real possibilities.


Next, find out whether getting into a home like this is doable for you right now. Avoid making assumptions. Get the facts. Find out what you can expect to get for your current property, and what you'll need to spend for the new home.


If you discover that moving to your next dream home is something you can swing this year, your hesitancy will likely vanish! I can help you get the information you need to make the best decision. Call me.

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As the province continues to re-open, the real estate sector is experiencing a strong recovery. Year-over-year sales across the province were up close to 50% from June of last year (and only down 0.3% year-to-date showing that we’ve nearly recovered all of the sales lost during the lockdown), new listings were up almost 8% (down 14.5% year-to-date), and the median home price was up almost 2% (down 1.5% year-to-date). Inventories were also down in 17 of the 19 markets that the SRA tracks, suggesting that people are quite eager to buy now and make up for lost time due to the pandemic.


This recovery was expected as physical distancing restrictions were loosened and as people’s confidence began to return. With the economy getting back to “normal”, people are getting excited to buy homes. “We’ve seen properties in some markets sell within days of being listed,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim. “And we’ve even seen bidding wars start to break out”, suggesting that people are quite motivated to buy and may be willing to pay more than full listing price. This could help to further drive Saskatchewan’s recovery as people are encouraged to list due to rising prices.

Prices and the number of new listings are still down in some markets (and some markets have seen an increase in the number of days for properties to sell), which continues to reflect the local nature of real estate. Despite the relatively sluggish performance compared with the rest of the province, however, these markets appear to be headed for a recovery as well and may soon return to pre-COVID level activity as the province and the economy re-open and return to normal.


Although Statistics Canada has not released the latest employment figures, employment rose 1.8% in May (while full-time employment rose 1.6%) suggesting that more people are returning to work and that a number of jobs are relatively secure despite the higher levels of unemployment created by the pandemic. Rising employment levels are promising since it means that people have the money needed to buy and help support a broader recovery.

While the future is uncertain and the recovery may slow down if we see a spike in COVID cases over the next few months, the government’s phased re-opening plan should help to minimize any potential new threats. This is boosting confidence and allowing the real estate market to recover now and help the economy to recover. “The multiple offers that members are getting,” and the low levels of inventory currently available suggest that the market has recovered and is well on its way to making up for the losses that the pandemic brought. “We may not have as good of a year as last” says Yochim, “but we should do pretty well all things considered.”


Sales in Saskatoon were up 38.4%, going from 372 in June 2019 to 515 in June 2020, and up 42.7% in the overall region, going from 504 to 719. In Saskatoon, sales were 27.5% above the 5-year average (and 17.7% above the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 29.2% above the 5-year average (and 21.5% above the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon fell 3.6% over last year, decreasing from 1,842 to 1,776, while YTD sales in the larger region fell 1.0%, going from 2,480 to 2,456.


Sales volume was up 36.1% in the city, going from $126.8M to $172.6M in 2020 (24.6% above the 5-year average, and 15.3% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $601.9M, a decrease of 1.4% from last year. In the region, sales volume was down 0.7%, going from $782.1M to $787.4M (28.0% above the 5-year average and 20.3% above the 10-year average). YTD sales volume increased 0.7% in the region, rising from $782.1M in 2019 to $787.4M in 2020.


In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in June 2020 rose 5.9%, going from 784 to 830 (5.0% below the 5-year average and 2.9% below the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings rose 4.8% from 1,174 last year to 1,230 this year (3.5% below the 5-year average and 1.3% below the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 11.6%, going from 4,204 to 3,716, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 13.6%, going from 6,262 to 5,411. Active listings fell 19.6% in Saskatoon (down from 1,971 to 1,585) and fell 19.9% in the region (down from 3,561 to 2,852).


Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 3 (which is 41.9% below the level last year and 40.6% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 62.0%, suggesting that market conditions favour sellers. Inventory in the larger region stood at 4 (which is 43.9% below the level last year and 39.7% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 58.5%, suggesting balanced market conditions.


Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 43 days in June—down 12.2% from 49 days last year (but below the 5-year average of 46 days and above the 10-year average of 41 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 54 days on average in 2020, but also down from an average of 56 days last year (and 1.1% above the 5-year average).


Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $320,000 to $329,900 (an increase of 3.1%) and were approximately 1.0% above the 5-year and 0.7% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 0.9% from $306,500 to $309,400. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $326,858 which is 1.3% above the $322,600 price from the same time last year.


Median home prices in the region went from $310,000 to $312,500 (an increase of 0.8%) and were approximately 0.5% below the 5-year and 0.8% below the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $308,171 which is 2.1% above the $301,767 price from the same time last year.  ~ July 2020 SRA News Release


Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.

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As you may know, curb appeal refers to how your property looks from the street, where potential buyers first see it. Your home’s curb appeal can have a big impact on the sale of your property. In fact, it's not uncommon for a buyer to drive by a listing, rather than stop, because they don't like what they see.


So, how can you improve your home's curb appeal quickly? One way is to do some outside cleaning.


Start with the main entryway. Wash down the front door and sweep (or power wash) the front steps. It only takes a few minutes but you'd be surprised by the impact it can have. Sweep or power wash your walkway too and you’ll improve the overall look of your home — sometimes dramatically.


Clean your front windows to brighten the look of your home’s facade. It doesn't have to be an arduous chore. In fact, there are washing products available that attach to your garden hose. You don't even need a ladder! Ask your local home improvement retailer for recommendations.


If you have hedges and scrubs, give them a trim. To keep your trimming level, use a wide board, or even a piece of cardboard, then cut to the desired height. Pull off any dead leaves or branches. Of course, also mow the lawn!


Finally, inspect your property from the street. Can you see anything else you can do to quickly improve the look? Do you notice anything that is unsightly or distracting, such as garbage bins that could be relocated?


One final tip: When a viewing is scheduled, remove your vehicles from the driveway. Buyers like to see an empty driveway because it helps them imagine themselves living there. It also gives them a convenient place to park!

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Across the province, year-over-year sales were down nearly 14% from May of last year (nearly 13% year-to-date), new listings were down almost 20% (both year-over-year and year-to-date), and the median sale price was down 5.7% (down 2.2% year-to-date). Despite this negative performance, and considering a pandemic that has led to a global recession, Saskatchewan’s real estate market is performing quite well and will likely get better as the province continues to re-open.


New listings and sales closely tracked last year’s numbers until the province declared a state of emergency in midMarch. Based on previous epidemics and the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the outbreak, “we expected transactions to fall dramatically in April,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim. “But we also expect transactions to return to normal levels once restrictions are lifted,” and we see that happening with new listings and sales up significantly from where they were this April.


And while sales prices have fallen (also consistent with evidence from previous pandemics), part of this decline is related to the higher levels of inventory due to reduced sales which, combined with weaker demand due to COVID restrictions, puts downward pressure on prices. As pent-up demand subsides and people begin to buy again, we should expect to see prices begin to return to normal as well.


Saskatchewan’s market strength calls into question CMHC’s recent projections about the province’s real estate market, and CMHC’s Housing Market Outlook ignores the local nature of real estate. For instance, Saskatoon and Regina account for over 50% of the sales in the province, and these two markets alone can have a significant impact on the province’s overall performance. In addition, even at the height of the province’s state of emergency, year-to-date (YTD) sales in North Battleford, Estevan, and Yorkton were up more than 10% from last year, and YTD prices in several markets were also up.


“I hear more frequently that our members are receiving multiple offers”. So while the real estate sector in the province has been hit by COVID and continues to feel its effects, the outlook isn’t nearly as grim as some are making it out to be, and we’re already starting to see signs of recovery going into summer. “As the province continues to open up and our members take action to protect public safety,” says Yochim, “I expect markets to make a strong recovery.”



Saskatoon Sales in Saskatoon were down 22.7%, going from 422 in May 2019 to 326 in May 2020, and down 14.0% in the overall region, going from 515 to 443. In Saskatoon, sales were 15.5% below the 5-year average (and 21.6% below the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 14.3% below the 5-year average (and 22.3% below the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon fell 14.2% over last year, decreasing from 1,470 to 1,261, while YTD sales in the larger region fell 10.8%, going from 1,843 to 1,644.


Sales volume was down 16.7% in the city, going from $140.6M to $117.1M in 2020 (12.4% below the 5-year average, and 18.7% below the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $429.3M, a decrease of 11.2% from last year. In the region, sales volume was down 9.1%, going from $578.0M to $525.6M (13.8% below the 5year average and 21.7% below the 10-year average). YTD sales volume decreased 9.1% in the region, falling from $578.0M in 2019 to $525.6M in 2020.


In Saskatoon, the number of new listings in May 2020 fell 17.0%, going from 911 to 756 (18.1% below the 5-year average and 16.2% below the 10-year average), while in the region, new listings fell 14.2% from 1,253 last year to 1,075 this year (19.7% below the 5-year average and 19.1% below the 10-year average). YTD new listings in the city fell 15.6%, going from 3,420 to 2,885, while in the larger region, the number of new listings to date fell 17.4%, going from 4,735 to 3,913. Active listings fell 20.1% in Saskatoon (down from 1,944 to 1,553) and fell 21.2% in the region (down from 3,254 to 2,564).


Inventory in Saskatoon stood at 5 (which is 3.4% above the level last year and 7.8% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 43.1%, suggesting balanced market conditions. Inventory in the larger region stood at 6 (which is 8.4% below the level last year and 11.4% below the 5-year average), while the sales to listing ratio was 41.2%, suggesting balanced market conditions.


Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 48 days in May—up 2.1% from 47 days last year (and above the 5-year average of 46 days and above the 10-year average of 40 days). Homes in the region stayed on the market longer than homes in the city at 60 days on average in 2020, but also up from an average of 54 days last year (and 11.1% above the 5-year average).


Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $326,000 to $338,000 (an increase of 3.7%) and were approximately 1.7% above the 5-year and 1.9% above the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 2.2% from $303,400 to $306,500. Year-to-date, the median home price in Saskatoon was $326,250 which is 1.0% above the $323,120 price from the same time last year.


Median home prices in the region went from $312,500 to $307,000 (a decrease of 1.8%) and were approximately 1.8% below the 5-year and 1.9% below the 10-year average median price. Year-to-date, the median home price in the region was $305,700 which is 2.1% above the $299,280 price from the same time last year.



~ June 2020 SRA News Release


Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.

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Imagine you have a major project at work, you have to deal with home schooling and you still need to deal with groceries, laundry and dinner. Whoa! That's a busy life.


Can you still find and buy a new home with such a tight schedule? The good news is, you can. In fact, there's plenty you can do to save time.


Consider these tips:


• Get specific about the home you want to buy. Think about property type (for example, "two story, detached"), number of bedrooms and bathrooms, special features, etc.


• Target areas you'd like to live in. That will avoid trips to see listings in areas that aren't a good fit for you.


• Get the financing arranged. You'll be able to shop for a new home with more confidence when you have a pre-arranged mortgage. It will also make your offers stronger.


• Make seeing homes a priority by putting it on your schedule. Look at pictures and watch virtual tours carefully to help narrow down the number of homes you need to visit. Try to block time on the weekend, and ideally one or two evenings a week, to view homes without other distractions.


• Get all the information you need when viewing a property. Take notes. Ask questions. Thoroughly explore the home, yard, and neighbourhood. Get enough information to make a decision without needing to see the home a second time.


While these time-saving tips can help, the best way to find a home on a busy schedule is to work with a good real estate agent.


Want more advice on buying your next dream home? Call today.

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Whether you're painting your home to prepare it for sale, or simply to make it more attractive for your own enjoyment, choosing the right colour is important. A colour isn't just a matter of taste, it's also, to a large extent, about the emotions it elicits.


If you're painting your foyer, for example, you may want it to seem bright and welcoming. So, light orange tones might be appropriate as that colour is often interpreted as friendly.


In your living room, you may want to create an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. In that case, consider shades of greens or grays as those colours communicate peacefulness and calm.


Want the rec room to look vibrant and energetic? Purples and reds communicate those emotions.


Where do you find more information about colour psychology? There are plenty of charts available online. Just Google "colour psychology charts". They can help you select just the right colour to convey the feeling you want for a room.


Of course, if all else fails, you can't go wrong with soft beiges, especially when selling your home. Neutral colours are often interpreted as reliable.


Have questions about painting and other fix-ups that will help sell your home faster and for the best price? Call today.

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As you've probably noticed, credit card companies regularly offer bonuses to get you to apply for their cards. For example, one such card company offers opportunities to buy tickets to concerts and other events ahead of everyone else. It's their "front of the line" service.


When you’re searching for a new home, wouldn't it be great if you could get to the front of the line on desirable properties – before other buyers get the chance?


Well, in a way, you can.


The first thing you need to do is create a profile for the specific type of home you're looking to buy. That profile will need to include the basics, such as type of home (e.g. detached), size and rooms (e.g. 2000-2,500 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths), and your target neighbourhoods.


You'll also want to add any additional features you're looking for, such as a finished basement or in-ground pool.


Next, you want to work with a real estate agent like me who understands the local market and can arrange for you to receive immediate alerts for newly listed homes that meet your criteria.


It's not uncommon for homes to become available for sale before the listing information gets published on the MLS. In fact, in some circumstances, it could take a couple of days before such listings become available online.


So, if you get an alert soon after a listing comes on the market, you get a head-start on seeing that home and making an offer. And, you don't need to apply for a special credit card to make that happen! Just give me a call. I can help you find the right home for you.

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COVID-19 has had significant economic impact across all sectors of the economy. Despite those challenges, the Saskatchewan real estate market has been relatively resilient to date.


While Q1 new listings and average prices were down 4.4% and 0.2% respectively over last year, Q1 sales were up 7.0%. The true impact of the pandemic, however, was not going to begin to be felt until April, and although activity was down, it was not down as much as anticipated.


Across the province, new listings were down 48.1% from April of last year while sales were down 45.1%. This contrasts significantly from the SARS pandemic which saw transactions in some markets fall up to 72% and cease completely during COVID-19 in certain markets. Average home prices in April fell 3.2% year-over-year which is consistent with the modest price decline experienced in other markets affected by pandemics.


Evidence from prior pandemics suggest that transaction volumes return to normal quite quickly once physical distancing measures are relaxed. The province is just beginning to re-open the economy and we anticipate that “the real estate industry in Saskatchewan will likely emerge from this shutdown with only a few cuts and scrapes,” said Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association CEO Jason Yochim.


Home sales produce approximately $54,000 in additional spinoff spending across multiple sectors of the economy. Reduced restrictions on the home buying process have the potential to boost employment and help the provincial economy to recover and offset some losses in other areas of the economy.


“The number of employment opportunities and essential economic activities that are created when a home is bought or sold is significant,” said Yochim. “Sales that don’t occur during this pandemic will be recovered once the province has opened up again.”


Saskatchewan REALTORS® have taken every action possible to protect public safety concerning COVID-19 and recognized early on that business could not carry on as usual. The industry has worked hard to develop and provide a significant amount of virtual resources for REALTORS® as well as buyers and sellers which has proved to be invaluable while practicing social distancing.


Sales in Saskatoon were down 43.9%, going from 380 in April 2019 to 213 in April 2020, and down 44.9% in the overall region, going from 514 to 283. In Saskatoon, sales were 34.3% below the 5-year average (and 40.5% below the 10-year average), while in the larger region, sales were 35.1% below the 5-year average (and 42.9% below the 10-year average). Year-to-Date (YTD) sales in Saskatoon fell 10.8% over last year, dropping from 1,048 to 935, while YTD sales in the larger region also fell 10.9%, going from 1,422 to 1,267.


Sales volume was down 44.2% in the city, going from $129.6M to $72.4M in 2020 (35.6% below the 5-year average, and 42.9% below the 10-year average). YTD sales volume in the city was $312.2M, a decrease of 9.0% from last year. In the region, sales volume was down 44.2%, going from $166.0M to $92.7M (35.4% below the 5-year average and 42.7% below the 10-year average). YTD sales volume also fell 9.6% in the region, going from $443.7M in 2019 to $401.3M in 2020.


The number of new listings in April 2020 fell from the number last year as well. In Saskatoon, new listings fell 36.7%, going from 774 to 490 (36.1% below the 5-year average and 37.5% below the 10-year average), while in the region the situation was even worse, with new listings falling 43.6% from 1,201 last year to 677 this year. Active listings also fell 17.9% in Saskatoon (down from 1,781 to 1,463) and 16.4% in the region (down from 3,240 to 2,708).


The sales to listing ratio was 43.5% in Saskatoon and 41.8% in the region suggesting somewhat balanced market conditions in the area.


Homes in Saskatoon stayed on the market an average of 56 days in April—marking no change from 56 days last year (but still slightly above the 5-year average of 52 days and the 10-year average of 44). Homes in the region stayed on the market somewhat longer than homes in the city at 67 days on average in 2020, up modestly from an average of 65 days last year.


Median home prices in Saskatoon went from $332,000 to $320,000 (a decrease of 3.6%) and were approximately 1.8% below the 5-year and 2.4% below the 10-year average median price. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—was up 2.4% from $302,200 to $305,600. Median home prices in the region also fell 1.2%, going from $313,750 to $309,900 which is 2.1% below the 5-year and 2.1% below the 10-year average median price.


~ May 2020 SRA News Release


Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.

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It’s always an honor to make this list and I’m so proud to be among this brave hardworking group of realtors. 

In such uncertain health, social and economic times, I am so very grateful to be an essential service and continue doing what I love; helping those who are in need. 


I extend a huge THANK YOU to my brave VIP clients and all the other professionals who also braved and worked hard throughout the process so that I could continue to make real estate dreams happen as smoothly as possible and bring the certainty of a home to others with so much uncertainty around.  


 I am proud to be a #REALTOR®, #ABR®, #SRS®, #RENE and I will continue to rise to any challenge and adapt to any changes that come my way so that I may help those in need safely and with the highest level of service.  Not even a global pandemic can ever stop that.


Together we will excel through this if we continue to help those in need.

Be brave, be patient, be safe & stay strong.  We will triumph!

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There's a reason why there are "kitchen and bath" stores, and even design magazines devoted to these rooms. A well-staged kitchen and bathroom can make the entire home look better. So, it's no surprise that professional home stagers pay particular attention to these spaces.


What do these pros have to say about bathrooms?


Professional stagers advise that you start by taking a picture of the room. Looking at that picture will give you a better sense of how others see your bathroom and reveal what needs to be changed.


Then, de-personalize it. When you’re showing your home to buyers, you want the bathroom to resemble a guest bathroom. So, no shaving kits, toothbrushes, sticky notes to self on the mirror, etc.


Stagers also recommend that anything worn be replaced. This will likely include the shower curtain and mats, which tend to wear and stain quickly.


Hang fresh new towels on the rack. (If you’re buying new towels for this purpose, choose white.) Put an unused bar of soap or hand cleaner next to the sink. Make it look like a freshly stocked hotel bathroom.


If required, paint the walls. Off-white colours, including beiges and light greys, work well.


As you can see, it doesn't take much to stage your bathroom and make it look its best for buyers.


Looking for more staging tips? Call today.

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